Physical Activity and Reducing the Risk of Cognitive Decline

[This article first appeared in: Dementia Newsletter RWHT Volume 1 Issue 6 January 2011].


A large body of evidence now confirms the established link between low levels of physical activity and cognitive decline.

This meta-analysis pools previous research (taking 15 studies covering over 30,000 people) and provides compelling evidence that low to moderate exercise, such as playing a round of golf once a week or tennis twice a week, is linked to a 35% reduction in the risk of cognitive decline. It is thought that this could be due to physical activity increasing blood flow to the brain.

The authors call for further studies to determine the best “type, frequency and intensity of exercise” or physical activity that maintains memory into old age.

Full Text Link


Sofi, F. Valecchi, D. Bacci, D. [et al] (2010). Physical activity and risk of cognitive decline: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Journal of Internal Medicine, January 2011, Vol.269(1), pp.107-17.

Related Systematic Review

Full Text Link

Forbes, D. Forbes, S. [and] Morgan, DG. [et al] (2010). Physical activity programs for persons with dementia. London: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008 (Issue 3).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in For Doctors (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, Physiotherapy, Systematic Reviews, Universal Interest and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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